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06 July 2019 Dilmun Burial Mounds Registered As UNESCO World Heritage List Site, H.E : the burial Mounds have an outstanding universal value that testifies to the richness of deeply-rooted Bahraini and region’s history
Dilmun Burial Mounds Registered As UNESCO World Heritage List Site, H.E : the burial Mounds have an outstanding universal value that testifies to the richness of deeply-rooted Bahraini and region’s history


Following The decision of  UNESCO World Heritage Committee, ICOMOS has recommended, on 6 July 2019, that the “Dilmun Burial Mounds, Bahrain” to  be inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (iii) and (iv)  and with a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. The decision was made during the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, currently held in the capital of Azerbaijan. Therefore, “Dilmun Burial Mounds” has become  the third site to be designated as World Heritage site in Bahrain after Ancient Qal’at al-Bahrain Harbor City and Capital of Dilmun (2005) and the Pearling Path in Muharraq (2012).

Commenting on this joyful news, H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa,  President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities (BACA) said “The Dilmun Burial Mounds is a living proof of Bahrain’s distinguished  and exceptional cultural heritage, that has enabled us to reach beyond national boundaries into the world at large to become a UNESCO World Heritage List universal legacy”. H.E added saying “ historical achievements are made day after, proving that Bahrain has become a successful genuine role model with regard to in investing in its cultural features to boost sustainable cultural tourism, achieve development and preserve authentic cultural identity”.

H.E argued that the inscription of “Dilmun Burial Mounds, Bahrain” on the World Heritage List reflects  the importance of this site as a keystone in history of Bahrain and Arabia and the Gulf region in general, bestowing upon it an outstanding universal value that enabled its final nomination  for World Heritage List. H.E has also pointed out that this success is the fruit of close coordination between the Arab Regional World Heritage Center and Bahrain Culture Authority, working together to prepare the nomination file by Bahraini competent expertise and skills, who are dedicated to make wonderful deeds, putting Bahrain on top of  the world’s civilizational map.

H.E added that this universal heritage trio, “Dilmun Burial Mounds, Bahrain”, Qala’at al Bahrain and Pearling Path, would boost Bahrain’s cultural and tourism infrastructure, enhancing Bahrain’s position as a regional and international civilizational center.

H.E expressed her gratitude and thanks to all those who have contributed to this universal event, namely the inscription of “Dilmun Burial Mounds, Bahrain” on the World Heritage List, adding that “ Our national Bahraini competent expertise are keen to uplift the cultural record achievements, they are our real asset, our source of pride worldwide”.             

The Dilmun Burial Mounds is a serial property formed by 21 archaeological sites, along 20km,  located in the western part of the island of Bahrain ( Madinat Hamad, Buri, Karzakan and Dar Kuleib). Six of the selected site components are burial mound fields consisting of some dozen to several thousand tumuli. Together they comprise about 11,774 burial mounds. The remaining 15 site components consist of 13 single royal mounds and two pairs of royal mounds, all embedded in the urban fabric of A’ali village.

The Dilmun Burial Mounds were constructed during the Early Dilmun Period over a period of 300 years, approximately between 2050 and 1750 BCE. The property encompasses the most representative sites of Early and Late Type Dilmun Burial Mound construction. The burial mounds bear witness to the flourishing of the Early Dilmun civilization around the 2nd millennium BCE. During that period, Bahrain gained economic importance on an international level as a trade hub which led to population growth and, as a consequence, to a more diversified social complexity. The latter is best reflected in the extensive necropoli with their variety of graves, comprising burial mounds of various sizes, as well as chieftain mounds and the grandest of them all, the royal mounds.

Bahrain is taking part in this 43rd  session of the World Heritage Committee meeting as one of 21 of the States Parties to the  1972 Convention, noting that the Kingdom of Bahrain had previously won the membership during the 21st meeting session, end of 2017. Therefore, Bahrain will contribute effectively to consider and evaluate the Tentative List nominations of 38 files, as well as provide technical and professional arguments on the files and their international requirements and conditions to enter the list.

The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly. At its first session, the Committee adopted its Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee.
The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties. It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed. It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger. During the nomination process the site and its protection and management plan are evaluated by experts from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Worth to mention that the 42nd meeting of the World Heritage Committee was chaired  and hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain, after winning the presidency of the Committee and its bright success to protect world heritage worldwide

 Worth to mention that Bahrain is hosting  the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), which is a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO and is located in Manama, Bahrain.  Since its establishment in 2012, ARC-WH has worked towards the conservation and protection of cultural and natural heritage unique to the Arab region.


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